We often miss this as a main point of the story of Saint Joseph, but it is key. What was God doing through Joseph’s decades of suffering? Was he refining Joseph? Yes. Was he restoring Joseph to his family? Yes. But ultimately God intended Joseph’s life “to save many lives.”
And by the end of Joseph’s life, he told his brothers it was all worth it.
Every Christian knows that Christ gives us a foundational calling: to live as Christ. Christ met needs. And all our other passions serve only to lead us to the unique needs we can meet. Joseph weren’t especially spectacular human beings; they just gave their lives to the problems of their generations. We could do that too. And together, as one body with many parts, we could see God move.
The word passion originates in Latin, meaning “to suffer.” The word was created by religious scholars in the eleventh century to describe the willing suffering of Christ. Passions have become nearly synonymous with pleasures and what excites us in modern culture. But consider that passion is originally defined as the moment of the deepest willing suffering of Christ for our good. It lifts the word from human desires to a monumental love willing to suffer.
When we find ourselves willing to choose suffering for a cause, that cause may hold our life’s mission.Read More »